Pro Bono News
City of Richmond Creates Eviction Task Force (VA)
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
City of Richmond Creates Eviction Task Force
"Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the creation of the City of Richmond Eviction Task Force, an advisory body charged with addressing the causes of evictions in Richmond and prescribing preventative solutions.
The task force will work alongside the city's Eviction Diversion Program, a first-of-its-kind within the Commonwealth of Virginia mediation program providing rental assistance, pro bono legal support, financial counseling, and supportive service referrals to residents already in the court system for rent-due cases and facing housing insecurity.
The Eviction Diversion Program, launched in October 2019 in partnership with Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, Firms in Service and the court system, is poised to thwart hundreds of potential evictions in its first year.
"The Eviction Diversion Program will make a real impact in the lives of some of our most vulnerable community members currently facing eviction proceedings in court," said Mayor Stoney."However, we recognize that we also have the responsibility to address the root causes of evictions and work to prevent the threat of eviction from occurring in the first place. I am counting on this group to explore steps the city can take to better understand, mitigate and prevent the conditions that make our most vulnerable residents, including our children, susceptible to housing insecurity."
The task force will include housing and human services stakeholders, affordable housing and social justice advocates, youth and family homelessness specialists, public housing residents, and property management professionals, including leadership of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA), which recently agreed to freeze eviction proceedings and partner with Mayor Stoney's Eviction Diversion Program to mediate rent-due cases between RRHA and its tenants, educate RRHA residents through financial literacy workshops and prevent evictions from public housing units..."